As part of his effort to build a 21st century infrastructure, U.S. President Barack Obama on June 10 signed a presidential memorandum designed to speed the modernization of the nation’s electric grid. The initiative will help make electricity more reliable, save consumers money on their energy bills and support homegrown American clean energy jobs and industries by making renewable energy easier to access across the country, say White House officials.
The memorandum directs federal agencies to create an integrated pre-application process across the federal government to help identify and address issues before the formal permit application process begins. It also calls for streamlined coordination of permitting processes across the federal, state and tribal governments. In addition, it directs agencies to identify and improve the use of energy corridors on federal lands that are most suitable for electric transmission projects sites, which will help expedite permits while improving environmental and community outcomes. Furthermore, it prioritizes engagement with stakeholders and the public to arrive at the best quality projects with the least conflicts and most support.